Last week, a combination of 10 poker players and media members held the annual conference call for the highly publicized ESPN Fantasy Poker League. The 2013 edition of the invitation-only league featured (in order of draft pick): Chops from Wicked Chops Poker; myself (PokerNews’ Chad Holloway); Jason Somerville; ESPN’s Andrew Feldman (the defending champ); Josh Brikis; Daniel Negreanu; Matt Glantz; BLUFF Magazine Editor in Chief Lance Bradley; Eric Baldwin; and Twitter’s nexus of poker information Kevin “Kevmath” Mathers.
This marked the eighth year of the league, which is built around the World Series of Poker, and over the years participants have come and gone. For instance, Dwyte Pilgrim, Dennis Phillips, Gary Wise, Bernard Lee, Mark Seif, Gavin Smith and Howard Lederer are all former participants who’ve given up their spots for various reasons (you can probably guess why Lederer disappeared from the league). Those spots are quickly snatched up, as evidenced by the addition of Somerville, Glantz and Mathers to this year’s league.
So how does the ESPN Fantasy Poker League work? It's simple. Each participant drafts a team of eight players who they think will find success at the WSOP. Each team earns points based upon the following criteria.
- 1 point for making the money
- 2 points for the top 50
- 5 points for top 20
- 10 points for the final table (defined as top 9 in hold 'em, 8 in mixed and other games, 6 during shorthanded events, 8 in heads-up (5-8th will be awarded 5th, etc).
- 1 additional point for ninth
- 2 additional points for eighth
- 4 additional points for seventh
- 6 additional points for sixth
- 10 additional points for fifth
- 15 additional points for fourth
- 20 additional points for third
- 30 additional points for second
- 40 additional points for first
- Double points will be awarded for all $10,000 events, $25K heads-up and the $50,000 Player's Championship event.
- Players will earn one extra point by cashing per every 100 players in the field. For example, if you cash in a 2000-player event, you will earn an additional 20 points.
- Every team can drop one player and replace him or her with another player. Stats will only count once on your roster.
In the 2010 Draft, I managed to rack up 596 points and claim the title, due in no small part to Michael Mizrachi’s deep Main Event run. But over the past two years, I've been in the bottom rung of players. With that said, I like the team I put together in this year's draft.
Below is a round-by-round look at the 2013 ESPN Fantasy Poker draft:
|KevMath||10||David “ODB” Baker|
|KevMath||11||David “Bakes” Baker|
|Bradley||28||Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier|
|KevMath||51||David “Doc” Sands|
The draft speaks for itself, but here are some interesting facts:
- Past winners include: 2010—Holloway; 2011—Dennis Phillips; and 2012—Andrew Feldman
- This was the fourth year in a row Phil Ivey went either No. 1 or No. 2. He was the first pick in the 2010 Draft and has been the second overall pick the last three years (two of which I managed to get him).
- Many players selected fairly high in the 2012 draft went undrafted this year, including Tom Dwan (16th overall in 2012), Victor Ramdin (17th), Justin “Boosted J” Smith (21st), Vivek Rajkumar (25th), Alexander Kostritsyn (26th), Ben Lamb (29th) and Jake Cody (30th).
- Defending WSOP Player of the Year and Main Event champ Greg Merson went undrafted.
- The first overall pick in the 2011 draft, Eric Baldwin, was not selected. He was chosen by then first-time drafter Dwyte Pilgrim, who was immediately ridiculed by the rest of the league—including Baldwin himself!
For more on the 2013 ESPN Fantasy Poker League, check out Andrew Feldman’s draft analysis on ESPN Poker.
Whom do you think has the best team? Any players you were surprised to discover did not get drafted? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Get all the latest PokerNews updates on your social media outlets. Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook!